Diversity for Diversity’s Sake?

In this age of “-isms” (feminism, racism, ableism, ageism, etc.) there are many critiques—and rightly so. However, while we may see more diversity, are our media (TV, movies, books, games, etc.) actually more diverse in their appreciation of these groups? For example, does merely fulfilling the Bechdel test actually make a movie feminist? Or, does having non-white actors in minor roles, or acting “White,” add racial diversity? Is the miraculous ability to heal disabled characters truly inclusive? These are only a few questions that you could touch upon. There are a lot of different facets of this argument, but I am curious about what diversity means, and when media can be considered “successfully diverse”? I’ve tagged this as "film," but it is widely applicable across media.

  • I think this topic would need to focus more on the production of these works and the works' underlying messages. I think something that can be a good point of inspiration is Jay Z's "Moonlight" music video. In the video, a guy is filming an all-black cast remake of the TV show "Friends." When he asks his friend what he thinks, his friend thinks it's terrible despite the guy's assumptions that an all-black cast would subvert expectations and ideologies. I think it'd be important to find some notable examples throughout decades of what would be considered diverse and not diverse. In Terminator 2, what makes Sarah Conner an icon of feminism for some? Is it because she's shown to be tough as nails while also being a protective mother? Does Charles Xavier having superpowers diminish his status as a symbol for perseverance in a society that would often look down or pity a paraplegic? Just some examples, but that's how I feel the argument should be narrowed down to. To tackle one -ism instead of all of them. – Daniel Ibarra 4 years ago

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